Invented by Prabakaran Ramalingam, Sony Corp
The Sony Corp invention works as followsA system and method of sharing passengers between vehicles” includes one or multiple circuits in the electronic control unit (ECU), of a first car in a group of vehicles. These circuits are configured to send a vehicle-sharing request, including the first seat mapping and the first route information, associated with the vehicle, to the at least one other vehicle of the group of vehicles. The second vehicle to share passengers is identified from among the remaining vehicles based on the comparison of first route information, first seat mapping and second route information. The second vehicle or first vehicle is chosen as the target vehicle for sharing passengers.
Background for The system and method for automatic sharing of passengers among vehicles
At the moment, the autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles technology and the associated automotive electronics is one of the fastest growing segments in the automobile industry. The development of automotive electronic systems for vehicles is the subject of many experiments. Currently, vehicles that have the ability to drive autonomously or semi-autonomously are evaluated primarily for their error free driving and advanced driver assistance (ADAS) systems. The development of technologies and system related to better utilization of autonomous, semi-autonomous or even nonautonomous vehicles is still in its infancy. In some scenarios, the sharing of one vehicle can be started at the start of a trip by using various applications available that are installed on computers of passengers. The use of these applications is restricted to initiating a ride sharing in a vehicle. Two travel requests from two passengers to the same destination are usually mapped to different vehicles located closer to the location of each passenger. In these scenarios, two vehicles are used to commute along the same route. This leads to waste of resources and unwanted environmental pollution. “An advanced, intelligent and automatic system is needed to maximize the use of vehicles’ resources and allow automatic passenger sharing between vehicles traveling along similar or the same routes.
The comparison of the described systems to some aspects of this disclosure as presented in the rest of the application and in reference to the drawings will reveal further limitations and disadvantages.
As stated in the claims, “A system and a method for automatic vehicle sharing is substantially shown and/or described with respect to at least one figure.
These and other features and benefits of the present disclose may be appreciated by a review the following detailed description and the accompanying figures, in which like reference numbers refer to like parts throughout.
The disclosed system and method of automatic passenger sharing between vehicles may include the following implementations. A system that includes one or more circuits within an electronic control unit of a vehicle may be considered as an exemplary aspect of the disclosure. One or more circuits of the ECU can be configured to send a vehicle-sharing request to at lease one vehicle remaining in a plurality. The vehicle sharing request can include first seat mapping and first route information for the first vehicle. The second vehicle is selected from the remaining vehicles of the plurality to share passengers. The second vehicle can be identified by comparing the first route and seat mapping data with the second route and seat mapping data received from at least one of the remaining vehicles of the plurality. The second vehicle identified or the first is chosen as the target vehicle so that one or two first passengers from the first vehicle can share the vehicle with one or more passengers from the second vehicle.
According to one embodiment, a vehicle sharing request can be sent from the first vehicle through a V2X communication. The V2X communication may comprise a vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, a vehicle-to-cloud (V2C) communication, a vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication, and/or vehicle-to-device (V2D) communication. The vehicle sharing request can also include the first vehicle information for the first vehicle. The first vehicle data of the vehicle can be a vehicle ID number, the vehicle type, or the details of the window seats of the vehicle. The first seat map information of the vehicle can be determined by using one or more images taken by one or multiple imaging devices in the vehicle.
According to one embodiment, “the first seat mapping information” of the first car may correspond with a number of empty seats, a number of occupied seating, a number of one or more of the first passengers, booking details for the seats and demographics of one or more of the first passengers. The first route information for the first vehicle can correspond to the first travel route. The first travel path may include a source, a destination, and one, or more, intermediate transit locations. The destination location for the second vehicle identified may be the same as the destination location for the first vehicle. In some embodiments a second route of an identified second vehicle can correspond to a portion or all of the first route of the vehicle. The first travel path of the first vehicle can correspond to at the very least a part of the second travel path of the identified second car.
According to an embodiment, one or more circuits can be configured to receive a notification of acceptance for the communicated request for vehicle sharing from the second vehicle identified. According to one or more seat-mapping rules, the first seat mapping data may be compared to the second seat map data received from the remaining vehicles. According to one or more matching rules, the first route information can be compared with second route information from the remaining vehicle in the plurality. The target vehicle can be selected based on a selection parameter or several parameters. The one or more parameters of selection may include at least the travel route parameter.
According to an embodiment, one or multiple circuits can be configured to send a halt command in an in-vehicle communication network in order to stop the vehicle at an intermediate transit point that is shared by the vehicle and the second vehicle, in order to transfer one or two first passengers to the second vehicle in order to share travel. This will depend on whether the second vehicle has been selected as the target vehicle. In certain embodiments, one or more circuits are configured to transmit the halt instructions in an in-vehicle system to stop the vehicle at the next intermediate transit point that is shared by the first and second vehicles to share travel.
According to an embodiment, one or multiple circuits can be configured to generate new seating information for the inclusion of one or two first passengers from the first vehicle with one or two second passengers from the second vehicle identified into a shared vehicle. The common vehicle can correspond to the target vehicle. The new seat mapping may be generated based on feedback from one or two first passengers. According to the newly generated seat mapping information, the first or second passengers can be seated within the target vehicle. The new seat mapping information generated can be displayed to one or two passengers via a user-interface rendered on the display devices of the first vehicle or the second vehicle. In some embodiments the one or multiple circuits can be configured to communicate via V2C with the identified vehicle based on the association between the first vehicle, and the identified vehicle with a travel group.
According to an exemplary aspect, a system for sharing passengers between a plurality vehicles may include receiving a vehicle-sharing request from a second vehicle, which includes at least first seat map information and first route data associated with a first vehicle of the plurality. The second vehicle may receive an acceptance notification for the received vehicle-sharing request. The acceptance notification can be sent based at least on a comparison between the first route and first seat mapping of the second vehicle and the second route and second seat mapping of the original vehicle. In an in-vehicle communication network, a halt instruction may be sent to the first car to stop it at a common transit point between the first and second vehicles. This will allow one or two first passengers from the first to travel with one or more passengers from the second. The target vehicle can be either the first vehicle, or the second vehicle. The common transit point between the first and second vehicles may correspond to the next intermediate transit location which is common to both a first and second travel route for the first vehicle.
FIG. According to an embodiment, 1A is a diagram showing a network environment that allows automatic passenger sharing between vehicles. Referring to FIG. In FIG. The network environment may contain a number of vehicles such as a vehicle 102 at a location 104, and another vehicle 106 at a location 108. “There are also one or more external devices such as first communication device 110 and second communication device 112. There is a central device such as server 114 and wireless communication networks 118.
The first vehicle 102 may include an electronic control unit (ECU) 120, one or more display mediums 122, a navigation unit 124, and one or more video-capturing units, such as a video-capturing unit 126. There is further shown a first user 128 associated with the first vehicle 102 that may be in motion along a first travel route 130. The first travel route 130 may include a source location 130A, one or more intermediate transit locations 130B to 130C, and a destination location 130D. There is further shown one or more first passengers 132 a to 132 c travelling in the first vehicle 102 along the first travel route 130. The second vehicle 106 may also include an ECU 134, one or more display mediums 136, a navigation unit 138, and one or more video-capture units, such as a video-capturing unit 140. There is further shown a second user 142 associated with the second vehicle 106 that may be in motion along a second travel route 144. There is further shown one or more second passengers 146 a and 146 b travelling in the second vehicle 106 along the second travel route 144. The second travel route 144 may include a source location 144A, one or more intermediate transit locations 144B and 144C, and a destination location 144D. A plurality of first inner cameras 148 a to 148 f may be installed in the interior of the first vehicle 102 to capture one or more images or video of in-vehicle users, such as the one or more first passengers 132 a to 132 c, of the first vehicle 102. Similarly, a plurality of second inner cameras 150 a to 150 f may be installed in the interior of the second vehicle 106 to capture one or more images or video of in-vehicle users, such as the one or more second passengers 146 a to 146 b, of the second vehicle 106.
The first vehicle” 102 can refer to a vehicle that is autonomous or semi-autonomous, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In some embodiments the first vehicle may be a non-autonomous car. The first vehicle may travel along the route 130. The first vehicle 102 can be a car, hybrid vehicle or a vehicle that has an autonomous driving capability and uses one or multiple distinct renewable or nonrenewable energy sources. Vehicles that use renewable or nonrenewable energy sources can be fossil fuel vehicles, electric propulsion-based vehicles, hydrogen fuel-based cars, solar-powered cars, and/or other alternative energy sources. There are many different categories of semi-autonomous or autonomous vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States, for example, proposes the following classification of driving systems. The present disclosure can be used for vehicles that have an autonomous function, such as autonomous braking or autonomous cruise control. The system and method described in the following examples can also be used for vehicles of Levels 1 to 4. NHTSA states that in the ‘Level 0’ category of vehicles, the driver is always fully in control. According to the NHTSA, in?Level 0? category of vehicles the driver controls the vehicle completely at all times. Vehicles of “Level 0” A vehicle of?Level 0? In the ‘Level 1’ category, individual vehicle controls may be automated. For example, electronic stability control or automatic braking. In?Level 1? In the ‘Level 2′ category, at least two controls can be automated simultaneously. For example, an adaptive cruise control and a lane keeping control. In the?Level 2? category, two or more controls can be automated simultaneously. For example, an adaptive cruise control and a lane-keeping control. In the?Level 3’ category, the level of autonomous control increases. A vehicle can perform safety-critical functions in certain conditions. In the?Level 3? category, a vehicle’s level of autonomy increases. It can perform safety-critical tasks in certain circumstances. The vehicle can sense when the conditions call for the driver to take control again and provide a “sufficiently comfortable transition period” The vehicle may sense when conditions require the driver to retake control and provide a?sufficiently comfortable transition time? Vehicles of “Level 1”, “Level 2” or “Level 3” The category can also be called a semi-autonomous, or partially autonomous vehicle. In the ‘Level 4’ category, the vehicle can perform all safety-critical functions without the driver being required to control it at any time. In the?Level 4? category, the vehicle can perform all safety critical functions without the driver being expected to be in control at any given time. This category of vehicle can control all functions including parking, from start to finish. It is also known as a self-driving car or fully-autonomous car.
The first location” may refer to the current geo-location of a travel route. For example, the first travel path 130 taken by the first vehicle. The first user 128 might want to start a ride by starting at a current location such as the origin location 130A of the first vehicle, and then continuing to the destination 130D via one or more transit locations 130B, 130C. It may be necessary to feed the destination 130D using the navigation unit of the first vehicle. The navigation unit may calculate a path from the origin location 130A to destination location 130D, via one or more transit locations 130B and/or 130C that the first vehicle will use during the ride. This calculated route at the beginning of a ride can be considered the current travel route of the first vehicle, for example, the first travel path 130. The ECU 120 may receive input information, including the current travel routes, such as the travel route 130 to be undertaken by the vehicle 102 via the in-vehicle system of the vehicle.
The second vehicle” can refer to a vehicle that is autonomous, semi-autonomous, or non-autonomous. The second vehicle may follow the second travel path 144. The second vehicle 106 can be a car, hybrid vehicle or a vehicle that has or does not have an autonomous driving capability and uses one or multiple distinct renewable or nonrenewable energy sources. Examples of renewable or nonrenewable energy sources include fossil fuels, electric propulsion systems, hydrogen fuels, solar power, and/or alternative forms of energy.
The second location 108 can refer to the current geo-location along a travel route such as the current second travel route 144. This may be undertaken by another vehicle such as second vehicle 106. The second location may be a location within the communication range of the vehicle 102. The first vehicle 102, for instance, may be able to communicate with any vehicle within a range of communication, such as a radius of 500 meters. The first vehicle 102 may be able to communicate with any other vehicle that is within a communication range, for example a radius of?500 meters? In this scenario, the second position 108 could correspond to a location within?500 metres? The second location 108 may correspond to the location that is within the?500 meters? radius of the current position of the first vehicle. “It should be understood that the range of communication may depend on factors like, for example: communication technology, environment, communication medium and so on.
The first communications device 110 can comprise appropriate logic, circuitry and/or codes that are configured to communicate with the vehicle 102 via the wireless communication channel 116A. This could be a dedicated short range communication (DSRC), or another short or medium distance wireless communication channel. The first communication system 110 can also communicate with a central communication device such as the server via the wireless network 118. The first communication device may include one or more sensors such as a geospatial location detection sensor (GPDS), a motion detection sensor (MDS), and/or speed sensor that detects a position, movement, or speed of a car, such the first vehicle (102) from a predetermined distance. The first communication device may be configured to receive and/or send various types of data from/to the wireless communication system of a first vehicle 102. The first communication device 110 can be a roadside unit (RSU), mobile device, wearable device worn on the user’s head by the first vehicle, such as smart-glasses, or a communication system that is removable from the vehicle.
The second communication device 112 can include suitable logic, circuitry and code to enable it to communicate with the vehicle 106 via the second wireless channel 116B. This could be a dedicated short range communication (DSRC), or another short or medium distance wireless communication channel. The second communication unit 112 can also communicate with a central communication device such as a server 114 via 118 wireless communication network. The second communication device may be configured to transmit/receive various types of data from/to the wireless communication system of a second vehicle 106. The second communication device 112 can be configured to communicate various types of information from/to a wireless communication system of the second vehicle 106.
The server may contain suitable logic, circuitry and/or interfaces that can be configured to establish communication with one or multiple vehicles, for example, the first vehicle and second vehicle. The server 114 can be configured to receive data from various vehicles such as the first and second vehicles 102 and 106. The server 114 can be a cloud-based server, web server or database server. It could also be an application server. The server 114 can be implemented using several technologies well-known to those in the know.
The first wireless communication channel (116A) may be a short-range or medium-range communication medium that allows the first vehicle to communicate with other vehicles, such as the second vehicle (106) or the first communication device 110. Direct communication between the vehicle 102 (first vehicle) and one or more vehicles (second vehicle, for example) through the wireless communication channel 116A can be considered vehicle-to vehicle (V2V). This type of communication allows vehicles to communicate directly with each other without the need for an intermediary device (such the first communication device 110, or the second device 112). The communication range of the vehicle may be defined as a distance that the vehicle can travel to communicate with other vehicles using the wireless communication channel 116A. In certain embodiments, one or more vehicles (such the second vehicle 106) might not be within the communication range of first vehicle 102. In these scenarios, the vehicle-to-X communication (V2X), which is used by the vehicle-to-106 communication (for example the second vehicle 106), allows the vehicle-to-102 communication to be conducted between the vehicle-to-102 communication (for instance the second vehicle 106). The first vehicle may wish to communicate with a second vehicle 106, which is outside the range of communication of the first car 102. The first vehicle 102 can transmit the information that is to be sent to the second vehicle through the first wireless channel 116A. The first communication device may transmit the information on to the second device 112. This device then communicates this information to second vehicle 106 via the second wireless channel 116B. The first wireless communication channel 116A can include, but is not limited to: a dedicated short range communication (DSRC), a mobile ad hoc network, a vehicular ad hoc network, Intelligent vehicular ad hoc network(InVANET), Internet based Mobile Ad hoc Networks (IMANET), a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN), a Wireless Mesh Network (WMN), a Wireless Local Area Network, a Wireless Fidelity Network (WiFi The first vehicle may be configured in accordance to various wireless communication protocol to connect with devices in the network 100A using the first wireless channel 116A. Wireless communication protocols include but are not restricted to IEEE 802.11, 802.15, 802.16, 16009, Wireless Access in Vehicle Environments (WAVE), cellular protocols, Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), User Datagram Protocol/HTTP, Long-term Evolution/LTE, File Transfer Protocol/FTP, ZigBee (LiFi), EDGE (light-fidelity), infrared IR, Bluetooth (BT), and/or variations thereof.Click here to view the patent on Google Patents.